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San Diego County No Longer 'Meth Capital of the World'

meth use down in san diego
Photo by INeedCoffee via flickr.
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Methamphetamine abuse and drug-related deaths have dropped significantly in San Diego County according to a five-year study released Wednesday by county officials. Meth abuse dropped 43 percent between 2005 and 2009 and arrests for the drug were reduced by more than half, according to the County of San Diego's Methamphetamine Task Force. Despite the results, the county once known as the Meth Capital of the World still saw 28 percent of all arrested adults test positive for the drug in 2009 and 138 deaths. Emergency room admissions related to meth use remained unchanged between 2005 and 2009.

The county spent approximately $2,000 per addict per month, according to the study.


  • Also on Wednesday, U.S. Border Patrol seized about $200,000 worth of cocaine (15 lbs.) and crystal meth (3 lbs.) from a 55-year-old man who was attempting to smuggle 10 cellophane-wrapped bundles in the engine compartment of his Dodge Dakota.
  • Recent reports found wide discrepancies in the market prices for meth in Southern California. The price per pound in San Diego County was approximately $18,000 in 2009, up from $10,000 in 2006, according to a DEA report chronicled by the North County Times. Over the same period prices dropped from $13,000 per pound to $11,000 in Riverside County (our new Meth Capital of the World?!?). A pound of methamphetamine went for double that in New York City in 2009, according to the report.
  • Washingtonian Richard “Rik” Remus, 39 is walking 5,000 miles around the country to raise awareness of meth abuse. Remus' “Miles Against Meth Abuse” tour began in Boise, Idaho, last October and will end in San Diego sometime in August. He was in Shelby County, Alabama this week, according to the local paper there. Shelby County was spared significant damage in this week's storms.
  • Finally, KPBS detailed a DEA report Wednesday that reveals (surprise, surprise) that the cost of drug prevention is less than the cost of enforcement. Meth lab seizures in California have declined from 789 in 2004 to 170 in 2010, according to the report. In contrast, the state of Missouri saw nearly 2,000 lab seizures in 2010.